Wet your whistle with these luscious libations.
by Hobart Rowland
Gone are the days when a stiff V&T will suffice at your typical wedding reception. From beverage bars and mason jars to alternative toasts and offbeat concoctions like blackberry whiskey lemonade and bourbon peach sweet tea, the options for adding a unique touch to your matrimonial imbibables are endless.
“Specialty cocktails are the perfect way to get drinks in hands quickly at receptions. We pass them as guests arrive to cut down on lines at the bar,” says Kathy McDonald, director of catering for Fork and Flask at Nage in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “Here at the beach, crushes are always popular. We like to put our own spin on those, offering guests the chance to tantalize their taste buds.”
And what about the “T” word? “Tequila popularity is up,” says Patrick Byrne, proprietor of the historic General Warren in Malvern, Pa. “Guests go for more brown liquor in winter—bourbon, whisky, rye, scotch. In summer, the gin and always-popular vodka are getting a run for their money from tequila.”
Here, McDonald, Bryne and other catering experts from around the region offer recipes for some of the trendiest and most popular drinks on the wedding circuit.
John Serock Catering’s Blackberry Ginger Smash
- 2 oz. light rum
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 3/4 oz. cocktail crate
- Ginger Bee Mix
- 3-4 blackberries
1. In a cocktail glass, muddle blackberries and top with light ice.
2. Combine other ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake.
3. Strain into the cocktail glass and top with ice.
4. Garnish with blackberries and a lemon twist.
Fork and Flask at Nage’s Cucumber Fizz
- 1 ½ oz. house-infused cucumber vodka (instructions below)
- ½ oz. St. Germain
- 1 oz. white grapefruit juice
- Finish with Prosecco
1. Peel and cut 2 cucumbers.
2. Soak slices in 1.75 liters of quality vodka for up to 24 hours.
NOTE: Match the straws to the decor for added wow factor.
General Warren’s Paloma
- 2 oz. tequila
- 2 oz. grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. agave
- Splash of simple syrup
- Splash of lime juice or squeeze of lime
- Finish with 2 oz. club soda
NOTE: Serve on the rocks with an optional salt rim.
University and Whist Club’s Something Blue Blueberry Mojito
- 1.5 oz. Bacardi rum
- ½ oz. lime juice
- ½ oz. blueberry simple syrup
- Muddled blueberries
- Fresh mint
1. Fill glass with ice and top off with club soda.
2. Garnish with blueberries and fresh mint leaves.
Drexelbrook’s Sweet and Spicy Margarita
- 2 oz. tequila
- ¾ oz. lime juice, plus some for rimming
- ½ oz. triple sec
- 2 jalapeño peppers (halved), plus slices for garnish
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- kosher salt
1. Combine sugar and water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add halved peppers and put in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Rim the edge of a margarita glass with lime juice, then kosher salt. Set aside.
3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and combine tequila, lime juice, triple sec and ½ oz. of the jalapeño syrup. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker frosts.
4. Strain into rimmed glass and garnish with jalapeño slices.
NOTE: For a little more heat, toss a few jalapeño slices in the shaker before adding mixer.
White Manor Country Club’s Manor Bliss
- 4 lemon slices
- 4 large basil leaves
- 2 strawberries, chopped
- ½ oz. simple syrup
- 1 ½ oz. vodka
- 2 ½ oz. Sprite
- 2 ½ oz. club soda
1. Muddle together lemon, basil, strawberries and simple syrup.
2. Strain juice over ice, add vodka and finish with Sprite and club soda.
3. Garnish with sliced strawberries and basil.